LosingDid you know that about 85% of your workforce is either actively looking for another job or willing to talk to a recruiter about their employment options? This is up from 80% in 2012 and is revealed in a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn of over 7,500 LinkedIn members in five different countries who recently changed jobs.

What is the cost to you? The average replacement cost per employee is 1.5X their annual salary. This gets to be very expensive when we are talking about your C-Level players.

Why do people leave jobs? The LinkedIn survey asked two questions. The first question was to currently employed professionals.

What would convince you to change employers? The top three answers were:

  1. Better compensation/benefits.
  2. Better work/life balance.
  3. Greater opportunities for advancement.

The next question was directed to professionals who had recently changed jobs.

What compelled you to change employers? The top three responses were:

  1. Greater opportunities for advancement.
  2. Better leadership from senior management.
  3. Better compensation/benefits.

Notice the difference. People indicated the primary reason they WOULD consider changing employers was money but the real reason they ultimately DID change was due to the opportunity to advance within the new organization.

Was this migration due to the fact that the employees who moved for greater advancement opportunities did not have that available to them at their previous employer? No. In a 2013 survey of HR professionals in 19 countries LinkedIn found that 70% of the companies had “well-defined internal mobility programs…”. Why the disconnect? Well, in LinkedIn’s Exit Survey, cited at the beginning of this blog, HR departments “overestimate employee awareness of their internal mobility programs by more than 2X.” So you might have a great upward mobility/education program in your company but the statistics show that the majority of your employees are unaware of it altogether or do not understand how it can be used for their personal betterment within your organization.

There were three recommendations in the article to make your internal advancement program more visible.

  1. If you have an in-house referral program where you compensate your employees for referring talent to you also have on the site the ability to nominate themselves for a new position.
  2. Use your in-house communication vehicles (newsletters, meetings, and social media) to highlight recent moves. Interview the employee as to why he/she made the move and outline how it positively affects the company.
  3. Incorporate your education program into your new employee on-boarding process. Make them aware that you are not just hiring them for this position but other opportunities are available for those who excel.

Oh, one final statistic that should have you sit up and take notice. There is typically an increase in the number of people looking to change jobs as we emerge from a downturn. If it isn’t happening to you right now then it is about to happen. What are you doing to retain your top talent? In next week’s blog we will talk more on what other companies are doing in this regard.

Consider Reading This

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel. Thiel says that improving on something that already exists takes you from 1 to n, while doing something entirely new you go from 0 to 1. He says progress can be achieved in any business and it comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.